It was the women who first discovered that Jesus had been resurrected. They were the ones who went to the tomb. They were the ones who met Jesus on the road. They were the ones given the responsibility of sharing the message with the rest of the disciples. It was the women.
I imagine it was the women who had remained loyal to Jesus. Looked on when Jesus had been crucified as the men disciples fled and hid in fear of their own safety and security. They were there when Jesus was buried, and they would return on the third day. It was the women.
Was it that the women were the ones who had really been listening to Jesus? Were they the only ones to understand the message he had been preaching? Did they know he would rise again? Or maybe they simply came to anoint his body. Nevertheless, it was the women who came to the tomb that Sunday morning.
They came with a courage and boldness that the men disciples seemed to lack. While the men hid, the women stood and watched. While the men hid the women stood by Jesus’s side. While the men hid, the women got up early one Sunday morning and were the first to realize that He had risen. It was the women.
It has been the women who have been faithful witnesses of the gospel, even when the men refused to ordain us, refuse to give us a pulpit, refused to give us a platform. It has been the women who have understood that truly God can call us too and has called us too. God can use us too. It has been the women who have created space for ourselves, ministries for ourselves, conventions and organizations for ourselves within the church we’ve grown to love when it felt like there was no space for us, no support for us. It has been the women.
So, what does Matthew teach us about the women? Matthew teaches us that Jesus’s ministry may not have been possible without the women. It teaches us that women have courage and boldness that can take them places at times that men aren’t willing to go. Women have a compassion and commitment to their cause and those they love that overpowers any fear they may have. That women can hear from God and witness God. That women are capable of spreading the gospel and teaching and preaching and leading movements. It was Jesus who realized the faithfulness, boldness, and power in the women. And if Jesus saw the power in women, then maybe it’s time we all fully embrace women in ministry and in the field and in all areas of life as well. It’s time to realize that it was and has always been the women.